Asparagus Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

This pasta salad is endlessly adaptable 365 days a year. Take your favorite pasta shape, add any vegetables in season then toss it all in a homemade Italian dressing. Yes, it's that simple!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 25 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste (optional)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pasta Salad:

Kosher salt

2 1/2 cups dried short pasta, such as penne or rotini

1 pound asparagus, tough stems removed, spears cut into 1-inch lengths

2/3 cup sliced red onions

1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes

2/3 cup grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. For the dressing: Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.
  2. For the pasta salad: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, just until al dente. Add the asparagus and cook it with the pasta for 1 more minute. Drain the pasta and asparagus then rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
  3. Transfer the pasta and asparagus to a large bowl. Stir in the onions and tomatoes. Pour the dressing over the pasta, toss to combine, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight. When ready to serve, stir in the Parmesan and enjoy cold or at room temperature.
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